Volunteers in Mission

We are so grateful to First Church volunteers who serve those in the Texas Gulf Coast area who are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey. These volunteers work with our United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, a mission effort of the church to help those affected by disaster. Recently our team has based out of Sinton United Methodist Church and worked alongside residents in the Rockport and Port Aransas area.

First Church leads these missions every month, and adults of all skill levels are welcome. Upcoming trips will be:

  • February 20 – 23, 2020
  • March 19 – 22, 2020

To sign up or for more more information contact Dave Scott at txgolfersall@gmail.com.

Volunteers in Mission

Report from the November 2019 Mission…Lessons in Love

by Reagan Cook
We may not fully understand the pain others feel when they are struck by devastation three different ways, but we can recognize their pain and, with God’s help, work to help alleviate some of it. Vanessa and Jim are older homeowners bravely, persistently facing their battles. She is fighting her second bout of cancer bravely and with a grace supporting her outward cheerful disposition. Jim just recovered from hip surgery. He’s determined to help win their third challenge.

While most of their neighbors moved back into homes restored from the 125 mile an hour winds of Hurricane Harvey, Vanessa and Jim live in a very small trailer in front of their home two years after nature’s violence. Facing physical and financial challenges, recovery for them takes longer, and it takes UMCOR volunteers.

Returning to help this past weekend: thirteen volunteers from First United Methodist Churches in Round Rock, Georgetown, and Salado. By Sunday this team completed sheetrocking a bedroom, and a hallway and closet. We completed the last half of the living room cathedral ceiling and two peaked walls, the same ceiling in the master bedroom, and two master bedroom walls. Other members taped and floated two bedrooms, a laundry room and closet, and the kitchen. Now 90 percent of the walls actually look like walls. Part of our team also helped another family by painting a kitchen ceiling, repairing broken electrical outlets, installing two fans, identifying a problem in the electrical wiring, and installing a new toilet.

Some people show amazing strength and resilience when faced with severe challenges. Vanessa and Jim do. Helping others brings them hope. If more volunteers help, this wonderful couple could finally return to living in their home of over 20 years and leave their cramped trailer behind.

Those who help even for one day or by providing meals for the team have a healthy, positive impact on their lives. It’s time for Vicki and John to finally return home. With faith and grace, they will. Our next mission trip is December 12-15.

One of the primary ways the Central Texas Conference responds to disasters is via our Early Response Team (ERT)Our CTC ERTs respond to disasters within the conference, as well as to help other areas facing disasters. The mission of an Early Response Team is to provide a caring presence in the aftermath of a disaster, under very specific guidelines that enables a team to be productive and caring while causing no further harm or being a burden to the affected community.

If you are called to serve as a member of the CTC ERT, you must register and participate in one of the trainings taught throughout the year. These trainings are taught by authorized UMCOR trainers, and team members are given authorized ERT ID badges from UMCOR as evidence of completing the training.  The topics covered in the class include the who, what, when, where and how of doing disaster response ministry, as well as some hands-on experience in the specific tasks that Early Responders are expected to accomplish in the face of a disaster.

The First Church Round Rock Disaster Response Team is an UMCOR-trained group of volunteers dedicated to providing a caring Christian presence to disaster survivors.  Currently, our efforts are directed to responding to needs of survivors of Hurricane Harvey. Many of those little Texas towns have been largely forgotten, but our teams have been there and will continue to serve as long as it takes to help them rebuild.

Visit the UMCOR website to sign up for upcoming UMCOR Early Response Training. (** ALL new Early Response Team Members are now required to be compliant with MinistrySafe.  You will need to fill out the MinistrySafe Compliance form and view the online training.  First Church members should turn in your form to Rae Frenette in order to complete the screening process which includes a background check, application, interview and reference checks.  There is a fee for the background check.)

Contact Dave Scott at txgolfersall@gmail.com for more information.